Category Archives: fitness

Feet Matter! Correct Over Pronation Now and Avoid Problems Later

Karen Goeller, CSCS

Pronation is the action of the foot as it roles inward upon foot contact with the ground. This action acts as a shock absorber for the foot and rest of the body. Over pronation occurs when a person’s foot rolls inward and their arch flattens while performing weight bearing tasks. The foot may appear normal while sitting, with a noticeable arch under the foot, but over pronation becomes evident when a person stands or walks. Even people with normal foot structure can develop over pronation as a result of excessive foot stress and improper arch support.  

There are many possible causes for over pronation including walking on hard surfaces for extended periods of time – either barefoot or with flat shoes, heredity, obesity, an imbalance between the posterior and anterior leg muscles, or tight gastrocnemius and soleus muscles among other causes.

Since over pronation causes the person to walk along the inner portion of the foot, this poor alignment may lead to injury in the foot and ankle among many other areas of the body. Problems such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, back pain, and other medical issues can be the result of over pronation.

Gymnasts are at risk of over pronation because they train barefoot and often do not use proper landing mechanics. The over pronation becomes more of a problem when gymnasts either tumble or land with their feet in the over pronated position. If a gymnast is accustomed to standing or walking in the over pronated position, she will land from dismounts with the same poor foot alignment. The gymnast lands from some skills with a force of up to 16 times her body weight. Landing with such an immense force in an over pronated position, especially when it is on a daily basis, may cause severe damage to the gymnast’s body, ending her career.

There are various methods used to identify over pronation. One method is to look at a person’s shoes. If the shoes are more worn on the inside of the sole, then over pronation may be a problem. Another indicator would be to make a footprint by wetting the foot and stepping onto a towel or any surface where a print can clearly be seen. If there is no dry spot to specify the arch there may be a need for special foot care. The footprint may also be performed in a gymnastics facility by using chalk on the foot and stepping onto a clean mat.

One recommended form of treatment for over pronation is to wear supportive shoes, but the alignment problem should still be corrected for long term foot health. Because a gymnast trains barefoot, corrective exercises may be the best treatment besides wearing supportive shoes while not in the gym. There are many exercises that can help strengthen the foot and improve lower body alignment. Here is one simple conditioning exercise for the feet that can be performed with a towel.

Towel Pull: Place a towel flat on the floor. Keep the heels on the floor and place the toes on the edge of the towel. Next, pull the towel towards the body with the toes so that the towel gathers under the feet. Make sure the foot remains on floor as the toes pull the towel. This exercise may also be performed while sitting in a chair, but gymnasts will be able to relate the standing exercise to landing technique faster than the seated version of this exercise. Once the gymnast is able to perform several repetitions of this exercise, a small weight such as one pound may be placed on the towel.

It is imperative that coaches assign safe and effective exercises and teach proper landing mechanics in an attempt to prevent some injuries. Coaches must watch their gymnast’s feet, knees, hips, and posture closely during each landing performed, whether the landing is from a simple jump on floor or a dismount from bars. It is important to encourage gymnasts to keep their knees in line with their middle toes (where the shoe laces would be if they were wearing shoes) and hips upon foot contact with the mat.

One simple drill for landing mechanics and alignment involves the use of a mirror. The gymnast should stand in front of a mirror with her feet parallel to one another. The gymnast should then slightly shift her weight towards the inner and then outer portions of the feet while watching her knees shift laterally. This should only be a slight shift, but it will be the difference between a safe landing and an injury. This mirror drill will show the gymnast how the foot alignment greatly affects the entire lower body. The gymnast will see and feel the difference between proper and poor alignment. The ankles, knees, and hips must be in line with one another.

Another method of teaching proper alignment is a common exercise used in the fitness world, the Squat Exercise. The gymnast should perform the squat exercise without weights to learn the proper form before she uses light dumbbells. This exercise will help bring awareness of proper landing mechanics and once weights are used it will help her with lower body strength.

And finally, after the Squat Exercise is mastered, gymnasts should perform the “Stick Drill.” This drill involves dropping down from a spotting block or mat stack and landing in the proper squat position. Start with a low stack until gymnasts master the proper position. For best results, gymnasts should practice ¼, ½, and parallel squats. A gymnast must be able to stop the force somewhere between the ¼ and the parallel squat positions.

For safety and success, gymnasts must learn proper foot alignment and perform appropriate strength and sport specific conditioning exercises. And keep in mind that injuries are NOT necessarily part of the sport. Many aches, pains, and injuries may be prevented when the training program is carefully constructed and the athletes are carefully monitored.

One more important note: The gymnast should not perform these or any other drills, exercises, or skills if they feel pain, are ill or injured, or are being treated by a medical professional.

Karen Goeller, CSCS

More information on over-pronation at the below websites.

Education.Auburn.edu/news/2008/june/flipflop.html

Sportsinjuryclinic.net

PacificCollege.edu

Foot.com, DeerfieldFoot.com

Heel-that-pain.com

SportsMedicine.about.com

TheFreeLibrary.com

USAG Safety Manual Page 31

NSCA Performance Training Journal Volume 7, Issue 1 Landing Mechanics

Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Exercises

Wikipedia.org Flip-flops, OurHealthNetwork.com Pronation

Can’t Get to the Gym? Try Legs Plus.

Can’t get to the gym? Try Legs Plus! Alternate the workouts in this book for amazing results.

http://www.LegsPlus.com

Legs Plus Workouts

Books are Nice Gifts

www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller

Books are nice gifts… Check out Karen Goeller’s sports, fitness, and children’s books. And be sure to check out the book on her life story after a cancer diagnosis.

Books by Karen Goeller

Titles include: Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning, Handstand Drills and Conditioning, Gymnastics Journal, Gymnastics Coloring Book, Fitness Journal, Strength Training Journal, Fitness on a Swing Set, Swing Set Workouts, Legs Plus Workouts, Lymphedema: Sentenced to Life in Bed, Missy’s Voice, and More.

Karen Goeller’s Latest Interview

Screenshot (107)In this interview with Mindy Sheier of Gamut Management, Karen and Mindy discuss how working in the film industry with a disability is very challenging,  books, health, sports coaching, and other topics.

Karen is a signed Actor/Model with Gamut Management. She is available for film, tv, photo-shoots, book signings, consulting, and more.  Here’s the interview,  https://youtu.be/oVitWpxhmN8

Contact Mindy at Gamut for film, tv, and modeling projects. www.gamutmanagement.com. Click on the Contact tab.
Contact Karen for book signings and consulting work.
business-card-goeller-june2018

 

Karen Goeller Books

How many have you seen? There are about 20 books available through bookstores by Karen Goeller, CSCS. Check them out here, www.amazon.com/author/karengoeller.

books-pic-2020

Journals-Fitness

Advice for Athletes during COVID Pandemic

SONY DSCI hope that you and your family are remaining healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if there is anything I can do for you. I’m still offering zoom calls at no charge for any athletes who have worked with me within the past year and at a very low cost for everyone else.
Some advice for our athletes…
  1. Try to make strength and flexibility goals for yourself now – for your return to the gym.
  2. Do activities that build strength (bike riding, stair climbing, swing set fitness, swimming, etc)
  3. Do activities that improve speed (sprints, sprints downhill, mountain climbers, flutters in pike and hollow shape)
  4. Try to keep up with body tightness and rebounding (bouncing, jump rope, hopping type drills, push up shape hops)
  5. Keep up with agility (do your pre-workout warm-up daily, playing tag with siblings)
  6. Try to have fun outdoors.
  7. Set a goal for the first week you return to the gym.
  8. Set a goal for two months after you return to the gym.
  9. Set a goal for the next state meet you compete in which would be next year.
  10. Always keep safety in mind when exercising at home and in the gym. You and your parents are responsible for your personal safety at home.
Swing Set Fitness is good conditioning for gymnasts. www.SwingWorkouts.com.
Legs Plus Workouts are great conditioning for gymnasts. www.LegsPlus.com
Gymnastics Drills Book www.GymnasticsDrills.com

Handstand Book  www.HandstandBook.com

Conditioning List, perform each exercise for 45-60 seconds non-stop or 25 repetitions non-stop. This is very little work compared to a four-hour workout.
  1. 1/2 Hollow Up
  2. Hollow Rocks
  3. Arch Ups
  4. Arch Rock
  5. Hip-Thrusts/Baby Candlestick
  6. Reverse Leg-Lifts, Single Leg-Lower-Lift
  7. Alternating Superman
  8. Arch-Legs Only
  9. Pike-Sit Leg-Lifts (Both legs straight and together)
  10. Pike-Sit-Flutters
  11. Straddle-Sit-Leg-Lifts (Both legs at the same time.)
  12. Straddle-Sit Leg Circles (Both legs at the same time.)
  13. V-Ups
  14. Alternating V-Ups
  15. Side Lifts
  16. Side Rocks
  17. Hollow-Arch (Both Sides)
  18. Hollow-Tilt Side to Side
  19. Arch Tilt Side to Side
  20. Plank
  21. Plank-Leg Extension (Lower-Lift Knees)
  22. Plank-Low Back Kicks
  23. Plank-Shrugs (Flat back-round back)
  24. Plank-Forward-Back (Planche-Back)
  25. Side Plank
  26. Side Plank-Lower-Lift Hips
  27. Side Plank-Small Side Kicks
  28. Plank-Side-Plank
  29. Walking or In-Place Lunges (Keep knees in line with middle toes!)

Gymnastics Drills Book www.GymnasticsDrills.com

Handstand Book  www.HandstandBook.com

web-6-drills-cond-books-dark

Laundry Bag Exercises, a Unique Fitness Method

Goeller Laundry Bag Exercises…   If you want to workout and do not have weights, use whatever you have!  Working out with a laundry bag is definitely unique, effective, and fun. This is a full-body workout with exercises for every major muscle group. If you follow along, Karen only does a few reps of each exercise. Do the entire workout to learn the exercises and then repeat it with a higher number of reps so that you are getting more reps in than what is shown here. Exercises for legs, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and core. For more of Karen Goeller’s unique exercise methods check out www.LegsPlus.com  and  www.SwingWorkouts.com.

IMG-7307

business-card-back-blk-2018

Gymnastics Conditioning at Home

Many competitive gymnasts are looking to stay in shape during gymnastics club closures due to this COVID-19 virus. That’s great! Just be sure the home program has effective and appropriate exercises.

Many of the drills and conditioning exercises in these books can be done at home. They are easy to read and simple illustrations help. The Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning book has exercises for press handstand, dance drills and conditioning, uneven bars drills and conditioning, vaulting drills, and running drills. www.GymnasticsDrills.com

The Handstand Drills and Conditioning Book has core strength as well as upper body strength and handstand shape.  www.HandstandDrills.com

And if the gymnast has a swing set in their backyard Swing Set Fitness would be very effective for core and conditioning specific to uneven bars. There are three books with swing exercises. The Swing Workouts book has over ten effective workouts. www.SwingWorkouts.com

And finally to keep good general strength gymnasts can use the Legs Plus Workouts. The Legs Plus workouts do involve using light weights and a medicine ball.  www.LegsPlus.com

With any home program, the gymnast must be mature enough to focus and follow written instructions. It is preferred the parent read along with the gymnast and be sure the gymnast remains focused during each exercise.

And please remember, with any movement injury is possible. You and your child are responsible for your own personal safety.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

business-card-back-blk-2018

#gymnastics #gymnasticsdrills #gymnasticsconditioning #gymnasticsathome #gymnasticsstrength #gymnasticstraining

Short Script: MISSY’S VOICE, by Karen Goeller

via Short Script: MISSY’S VOICE, by Karen Goeller

Not Everyone Does the Keto Diet

Not everyone follows the keto diet.

oatmealSomeone asked what I eat for breakfast. I responded honestly, “oatmeal with blueberries, or honey & flax, or gogi berries, or banana…”

Her response, “oats and honey are not good for keto.”

Ummm, not everyone follows that extreme and dangerous diet. I told her it is not a good idea and found her some info on the DANGERS of KETO.

My exact response was, “Keto is not good. Anything extreme is NOT GOOD!!! Just eat HEALTHY FOODS and stop the extreme stuff.”

The keto diet could cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies, and an increased risk of heart disease. Strict diets like keto could also cause eating disorders. Keto is not safe for people with any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder.

With such a low carbohydrate keto diet, you likely restricting grains, beans, dairy, fruit, and vegetables, If you eliminate entire groups of food you could end up with a nutritional deficiency. You may end up being low on B-vitamins, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

And yes, I also let her know that I’ve been teaching people about health and fitness since the 1980’s.

Here are a few articles on the dangers of the keto diet…

https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/health-and-wellness-articles/ketogenic-diet-what-are-the-risks

https://www.thedailymeal.com/healthy-eating/hidden-dangers-keto-diet/slide-11

https://www.moms.com/turns-out-the-keto-diet-is-seriously-unhealthy/

https://www.everydayhealth.com/ketogenic-diet/diet/keto-diet-dangers-you-need-know/

Just eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, some carbs, and some protein. That means, buy most of your food from the produce department including the potatoes,  as well as some foods from the meat department.

 

 

%d bloggers like this: